Saturday, 21 September 2013

Tandur Farm Garden Tour

Welcome to my blog and my very first post! 

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tanya and I live on a seven acre property in Tandur, Queensland, Australia. Tandur is about 20kms outside of Gympie, and 40 mins north of the Sunshine Coast.  I have lived here with my family for six years and every year we have flooded at least once, mostly twice, right through our home. In 2012, our biggest flood, the water level inside our house was just short of two metres. Luckily we have a second floor...and a dinghy.

The water level almost reached our top floor in January 2012.
This is half way there.

Understandably, there have been times when I have hated my home and the predicament it has put me in. Our property is virtually unsaleable and we have a mortgage to cover so we are stuck here...and trying to make the most of it...well most of the time, when we choose not to ignore it.

The clean-up is always the worst part

So many things are destroyed

Our most recent flood was in January this year. The water level reached 1 1/2 metres inside our home twice within two weeks, and when you are faced with such a clean up again it is tempting not to put everything back together. Then again sometimes you just need the right motivation to do so...

A few months ago I met a woman called Rhonda Hetzel (Down To Earthat a blogging workshop and I have to say this chance meeting changed my way of life and gave me the motivation I needed to re-ignite my love affair with my home. I bought her book Down to Earth (signed, which is treasured) and realised I should be using my land to my advantage, embracing the few benefits that flooding offers (fertile soil) and working towards the goals I had when we first moved here... to be self sufficient, and raise our family with simple values.

Over the years my husband and I have adopted many flood-proofing (or should I say, flood enduring) measures which I will share with you over time. I also hope to meet others who put their lives back together after flooding, and stay in their homes because they have to. We are lucky that our house survives and just needs renovations - over the years we have minimalised these too. 

It is time now for me to be more conscious of and aware of my life, my farm, and my family, and to put steps in place to create a peaceful and happy environment again. Taking small steps towards simple living is the answer for steps, because I still need to work full time to support this life...and my hungry boys.

My priorities are changing and slowly my farm will take shape. Here is a brief tour of my house perimeter and the gardens that have grown wild. 

A side view showing the front of my farmhouse on the left
Garden overtaking the house. Some plants, like the lemonade tree,
flourish despite the flooding and frost.

The front entrance which is rarely used as we have moved our main living
 area upstairs.

The roses used to flourish after a flood but they have seen better days.
I will cut them right back and see what happens. There are strawberries
 in there somewhere too.

The Gumtree Garden which the passionfruit has taken over...

This water tank went for a float last year. We now chain it to the house.
 The vegie garden around it is in need of major work...and more soil.

Some celery, spring onions and heaps of weeds!

Lemon Tree garden behind the outdoor shower and toilets.
Can't even see the garden bed.

Flood mud - almost impossible to get off the lemon tree.
It rained all winter and still it sticks
What's left of my shadehouse on the left. Needs major cleanup.
Hmmm, a few too many vehicles left on the lawn to die

I hope you have enjoyed my little tour. All of the gardens I have shown you flood so some of you may think I am crazy planting vegetables (like my husband) but water is accessible via our bore and I don't know alot about gardening so I will experiment first before I rush out and build a big garden up at the old fish farm which...touch wood....has never flooded.

I will keep the posts and photos coming as I learn how to drive this blog. I will share reflections, experiences, successes, failures, recipes, adventures... and all with humour and honesty. I hope you will share in my growth as a mother and a person and offer your advice and friendship along the way.

Do you know anyone who floods? How are you going with your gardening plans this season?


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